a priori/a posteriori

Monday, February 21, 2011

Paying It Forward

I think this will be a fairly short blog. I just want to document my feelings right now, as I am very inspired by Lucas' productivity. Lucas has been writing at a frenzied pace these past few days, and it's something that really impresses me. I have ideas for blogs to write pretty much every day, but I end up not writing them, because I'm afraid of what they'll end up being. I have such high hopes for an idea in my head, and if I actually write it out and it becomes something that exists, instead of something that I'm imagining, then all of a sudden it's not nearly as great as I told myself it would be.

I just read something Lucas wrote that he posted on Facebook. I thought it was amazingly perceptive and completely ballsy for him to open himself up as much as he did. It deserved to be in a book, not on my shitty Facebook newsfeed. I commented on it.

What else can a reader do? Did he expect me to be so inspired by what he wrote that I dropped everything in my life and flew to Egypt to protest? What do I really expect of someone who reads something that I write? I don't know. But the longer I don't write something, the more that reaction would have to be in order to justify how long I've put off writing it in the first place. It's a vicious cycle, and it's almost as if I don't write something immediately, without thinking about it all, then it will never get written at all.

I'm trying to not be stubborn in my ways - I'm trying to be willing to have art affect me. Lucas' art is affecting me, and I consider how he lives his life to be a form of art, if a bit more well-disguised.

Maybe in a way all of our lives are also a work of art, that we are working on constantly. The problem is that if I think of my life as a piece of art, I tend to do the same thing with it that I do with most blogs I don't write. I think in my head about all the awesome things I could do, and how awesome my life could be, and then I get bummed that I haven't started doing it already, and then I don't want to face the reality of the minimal impact that even a great life would result in.

Who are the most influential human beings ever? Maybe religious people? Jesus? Muhammad? Surely they would be satisfied with the impact they had. Right?

Well, both preached non-violence. Is there still violence in the world? In fact, are there certain believers of both who are violent in their names? How about Gandhi? Would he be happy with his impact? Martin Luther King, Jr.? Malcolm X? Does racism still exist? Are inner-city public schools still shit? Would they be happy with their impact?

And this is when I realize the flaw in the thinking. No one person can ever really be satisfied with the "impact" they have, because you can't control the "impact" you have on people - on individuals or on the world as a whole.

You can't choose how people interpret what you do - all you can control is your own existence, your own decisions, and how you life your life. How people interpret this blog is out of my hands. But I've written it, and I wrote it in part because Lucas chose to write his. So I'm glad he did, because it helped me live my life better. I love the idea of being able to pay that forward. But I don't need it. This blog is what it is. It stands alone.



  2. Thanks, Aparna. Looking forward to being inspired by you for years to come. We’ll try to keep inspiring each other. It’ll be like a game of ping-pong, except more inspiring. And with fewer South Koreans.